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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Can Hosted VoIP Be a Game Changer for Your Business?

Can Hosted VoIP Be a Game Changer for Your Business?

Many business transactions may be moving away from the telephone, but it is still a must-have for any business. Not everyone is Internet-savvy after all. Nowadays, there are plenty of telephone options out there, but only one carries no upfront hardware costs or a exorbitant fee structure: Hosted VoIP. Today, we will take a look at the benefits of cloud hosted VoIP, and how to get one working for your business today.


What is Cloud-Hosted VoIP?
Before we go into what cloud-hosted VoIP is, you have to understand what VoIP is. With Internet bandwidth increasing very quickly, there are now phone systems that work over an Internet connection rather through the traditional telephone infrastructure. As a result, Internet-based phone systems are growing in popularity. Called Voice over Internet Protocol, companies who were looking to take full control over their communications costs, started to purchase expensive PBX technology, hosting it in their place of business, and paying a VoIP provider per user. Sure it was expensive to start up, but once a company owned the hardware, costs normalized and the phone system was theirs to do with as they please.

Cloud-hosted VoIP moves the PBX platform from your server room to the cloud, removing the upfront hardware and maintenance costs that typically keep businesses from investing in their own telephone solution. With a cloud-hosted VoIP solution, you and your staff gain anytime-anywhere access to a feature-rich and reliable telephone system without the cost, headaches, and hassle that traditional telephone systems are often associated with.

Cloud-Hosted VoIP Features
While the main advantages to integrating a cloud-hosted VoIP system come from the transfer and reduction of cost, there are other benefits. Being able to quickly, and affordably, scale to your organization’s needs, provides you the opportunity to pay only what you need to pay, and not get locked into a lengthy and expensive long-term contract. If you need a new phone line, you can get one, and it will be reflected in next month’s bill.

Speaking of bills, the Cloud-hosted VoIP solution allows you to budget your communication costs based on your users, not on your whole system. This provides an advantage for project-oriented businesses, as they can easily add a phone when they need one and get rid of it when they don’t.

Another major benefit isn’t one you would typically expect. The security of cloud-hosted VoIP systems is solid. Your VoIP provider is in charge of your system’s hosting and security. As with most data center-based computing platforms, a cloud-hosted PBX server is completely protected with comprehensive disaster recovery protocols as well as ample physical security.

A lot of hosted-cloud VoIP options offer conferencing solutions and the opportunity to unify your organization’s communications platform. This can have several positive benefits including simpler management, cost reduction, and increased efficiency.

With Cloud-hosted VoIP at the center of your business’ communications, you can do more with less. For more information about the VoIP options CTN has, call us today at (610) 828-5500.

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Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

It can be argued that your organization isn’t considered “modern” without taking advantage of truly modern technology solutions. This includes the cloud, which provides anytime-anywhere access to important information or products. This type of access--also known as Product as a Service--can help your budget by eliminating large up-front costs in favor of smaller payments more regularly. This might seem ideal for your organization, but we urge you to take a step back and think about the solution before accepting terms of service without looking for extra hidden costs.


A study performed by Research in Action asked 468 CIOs all about their cloud usage and the costs that come with them. The majority agreed that cloud investment was one of the biggest expenses that their organization had, which only seemed to feed into the consideration that any additional expenses can add up in the long run. These CIOs also found that most of their concerns over hidden costs were made up for by the sheer quality, quantity, and reputation of the vendors. Here are some of the issues that were considered during this poll:

  • Putting forth more effort to properly manage vendors, and their corresponding Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Bottlenecking and the impact poor cloud performance could have on brand perception, productivity, and customer support.
  • Spending more to solve complex problems inside cloud environments.

Whether or not these concerns are justified is another issue altogether. While they might be difficult to measure, they are certainly issues that need to be addressed in some way, shape, or form. Many organizations simply don’t have the solutions to adequately determine how much the cloud costs. Many of these companies are simply using dated systems that track their cloud performance, limiting the amount of information that can be tracked.

Costs of Scalability
Some businesses also have trouble scaling their cloud solutions to the point where the organization benefits most. This happens when you’re spending too much on cloud services you don’t need, spending too little and creating an operational deficiency, or managing and administering the cloud in a way that doesn’t create a profit for your organization. You need to understand how much space and and processing will be required of your organization so that it can handle your cloud requests, as well as the flexibility needed to ensure change can be made easily enough. What it amounts to is understanding how your business’s cloud technology handles its bottom line.

Knowing When You’ve Gone Too Far
The cloud is nice for business purposes, but without taking a closer look at your finances, it’s easy to forget how much you actually use the cloud. Look at your personal use of cloud services as an example. If you use Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and other cloud-based services, while they are all relatively cheap, they can add up and cost you a considerable amount of money.

Depending on your business’s specific needs, you’ll need various cloud services that will vary by industry. How will your organization use the cloud? To find out, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Your business relies on technology to ensure operations proceed smoothly, but the way that it’s managed can have a major impact on the way your company functions. Think about it like this: if you have software solutions hosted on different computers, but not in any centralized location, only those computers will be able to use these solutions--potentially hampering your staff’s ability to be productive. How can you make sure that this doesn’t become a major problem?

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Four Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

Four Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

The cloud has revolutionized the way that businesses approach computing. Companies can implement solutions in a flexible and accessible model that makes it much easier to take advantage of technology solutions. Yet, you should know that not all clouds are the same, and you can’t treat them as such. Here are four questions that you need to ask your cloud provider about the services that you’ve been rendered.


What is Your Business Responsible For?
Depending on the cloud provider that your business goes with, you’ll want to know exactly what their responsibilities are. For example, the cloud provider might be responsible for security to a certain degree, with the rest of the responsibility being shared with your organization. How can you best protect your organization if you don’t know who is responsible for what? You should clearly outline the responsibilities of both your cloud provider and your own organization.

What Type of Cloud Security Do You Need?
You’ll have different cloud-based services that you take advantage of, inevitably. Whether it’s an Infrastructure as a Service type of solution or a Software as a Solution approach to cloud computing, your security needs will change. Your cloud provider should be able to adapt to the needs of your business.

What Kind of Training is Offered?
It’s great if you know how to use your business’s cloud solution, but what about every other one of your employees? While you could spend all the time to make sure that your business’s employees know how to work with your cloud services, why should you waste the time doing so if your cloud provider offers it for you instead? The more time you can save, the more money you can save. Furthermore, cloud training shouldn’t be limited to during the implementation process; instead it can be used incrementally to keep everyone up to date on the latest and greatest practices.

How Much Visibility Do I Get?
In this case, visibility can be defined as insight into how your business’s data is stored, managed, and secured. Depending on the type of cloud provider and services you work with, you’ll have varying data visibility. For example, a small business might have limited control over its business’s data. On the other hand, a larger enterprise or corporation is trusting the cloud provider a lot with their patronage. This patronage also offers a considerable insight into the way that your data is being used.

If you want a cloud provider that offers complete and total transparency, CTN can help. To learn more, give us a call at (610) 828-5500.

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What Is All This Talk About the Cloud?

What Is All This Talk About the Cloud?

Cloud computing is one of the best ways that your business can compete with larger enterprises. Today, you can adopt the cloud and take advantage of countless services, but are you doing so yet? If not, we’ll help walk you through some of the best ways that your organization can leverage the cloud.

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Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

All businesses require at least some type of software in order to perform as expected. It’s how organizations acquire this software that has a considerable impact on cost. For some, software can be a budget-breaking nightmare, but others have found a much more convenient way of acquiring this software: as a service.


Software as a Service is a method of software distribution designed to help your business acquire the applications it needs without suffering from the large upfront costs that software acquisition typically carries with it. Do you remember purchasing software licenses for each and every user on your network? This can get somewhat challenging to maintain, as these licenses need to be renewed frequently. If they are not, then your organization could be at substantial risk.

Businesses can instead use 'software as a service' offerings to purchase access to cloud-based applications and storage. Basically, you pay for access to the software and reap all of the benefits of actually owning it--plus some additional ones--by leveraging cloud computing.

More Cost-Effective
Think about how much it costs to purchase software for your organization. The same services that are necessary for operations, could be a major detriment to turning a profit. With the use of an application hosted in the cloud, you can cut the cost of ownership and transfer the once recurring capital expense into a manageable operating expense.

Up-to-Date Editions
When you purchase 'software as a service' applications, you always access the most recent version of it through an online interface. This means that you’ll never have to worry about updating the apps with patches or security updates, as they will be taken care of by the service provider.

More Flexibility
Purchasing new software licenses can be troublesome, especially when you’re a small business that’s experiencing growing pains. You can add new users easily enough just by creating accounts for them--no additional purchases necessary. Changes in your service plan are generally added to your next billing cycle. This provides the scalability every growing business needs.

Does your business want to use software as a service? CTN Solutions can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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The Top 3 Ways Cloud Computing Helps Businesses

The Top 3 Ways Cloud Computing Helps Businesses

Cloud computing has taken the business world by storm, fulfilling so many needs and simplifying as many processes. If you’ve been on the fence about incorporating the cloud into your IT infrastructure, you should know a few of these benefits to help you make your choice.

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How Cloud Computing and Virtualization Can Free Up Your Business to Do More

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_n_virtualization_400.jpgThe cloud is revolutionizing the way that businesses store and manage data, applications, and even abstracted hardware like servers and desktops. However, some businesses are still reluctant to adopt the cloud, despite its overwhelming advantages for small and medium-sized organizations. Therefore, we’re taking it upon ourselves to “demystify” the cloud, so you can see just how great of an innovation it is.

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The Cloud Makes Everything Easier, But Only If it’s Managed Properly

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_comp_solution_400.jpgAs an increasingly more important component of the modern technology infrastructure, the cloud can be a daunting new addition to any organization’s business strategy. Yet, many businesses still haven’t made the jump to the cloud, perhaps out of fear that their use of the cloud won’t significantly benefit them.

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3 Ways Remote Technology Benefits Both Your Employees and Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_remote_bro_400.jpgIn an age when working remotely is a commonly accepted practice, many organizations are still skeptical about letting their employees work from home. They think that doing so will disengage them from the workplace environment and that they’ll be too distracted to perform their work to specification. Yet, businesses that aren’t flexible on this issue could be missing out on several significant cost savings.

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How Should Your Business Approach Virtual Desktops?

b2ap3_thumbnail_your_virtual_desktop_400.jpgYour business’s desktop infrastructure is an imperative part of operations, but thanks to the latest virtualization technology, there are easier ways to manage multiple desktops. For example, you can take advantage of an in-house virtual desktop infrastructure, or implement a dynamic outsourced Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

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3 Precautions You Need to Take Before Migrating to the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_risk_400.jpgCloud computing grows more popular by the day, and it continues to show its value to a modern business world. Being able to dynamically access content while online is a great asset, but of course, this doesn’t come without taking some risks and gambling your data’s security. Thankfully, there are some ways in which you can tip the odds in your favor.

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4 Considerations Every Business Should Make Before Moving Operations to the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_computing_400.jpgCloud computing is already heavily utilized in the business world. Companies that were looking to add mobility, collaborative capacities, and overall flexibility, have rolled out cloud computing platforms for their business and it’s resulted in quite a few benefits. In fact, according to a 2014 survey, about 70 percent of enterprise-level companies have instituted some sort of IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS solution. As more companies implement cloud solutions for critical business functions, owners of smaller businesses are asking us the inevitable question, “Is the cloud right for my business?”

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Why SMBs Need to Move Away from On-Premises Computing

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_server_400.jpgMost small and medium-sized businesses aren’t new to IT. For the past 15 years or so, SMBs have been attempting to keep up with their larger competitors through the implementation of technology systems. They’ve instituted computing systems from servers to workstations to mobile devices, peripheral technologies like fax machines and copiers, “state of the art” networking technology, and all other sorts of tech, just trying to keep a leg up on their competition.

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Business Owners and IT Departments Need to Agree on a Cloud Solution

b2ap3_thumbnail_which_cloud_strategy_400.jpgCloud computing is everywhere, yet there are still plenty of businesses that haven’t migrated to the cloud or adopted cloud services. In many cases, this is due to business owners and IT departments not being on the same page when it comes to cloud computing.

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Why Using a VPN is the Most Secure Way of Accessing Corporate Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_vpn_for_business_400.jpgAs a business owner, you’re constantly moving around. At the same time, you’re expected to keep in touch with your base of operations, respond to employee and client inquiries, and many more mission-critical tasks that require the use of remote technology solutions. Unfortunately, public WiFi hotspots are known to be cesspools of online filth, where a secure connection is nothing but a dream. One way to correct this issue is with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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Improve Business Operations with Virtual Desktops

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtual_desktop_for_business_400.jpgAnything that makes your business more mobile is a good thing, right? This is one of the main goals of virtualization services. These separate the software from the hardware it’s installed on, allowing it to be isolated and installed on a virtual machine where it can be accessed as an individual instance. Many businesses are finding success in their workplace by taking advantage of desktop virtualization services.

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3 of the Most Common Misconceptions About the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_confusing_business_owners_400.jpgDespite the clear advantages that cloud computing offers to modern businesses, some organizations are hesitant to incorporate it into their IT infrastructure. Due to the cloud’s fairly recent insurgence, it’s natural to feel some sort of anxiety toward cloud integration. However, these fears aren’t necessarily warranted, and some can directly influence your ability to grow and expand.

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Why Cloud Computing

b2ap3_thumbnail_here_is_the_cloud_400.jpgAre you confused about cloud computing? What is is? How does it work? How it can help your business?

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How Cloud Computing Frees Up Funds for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_savings_400.jpgFrom the perspective of a business owner, spending money on technology is an investment that one hopes to see a return on (ROI). After the initial investment is returned, then all funds generated by the technology are sweet profit--which is the driving goal for every business. One technology that’s the most capable of driving profits for business is cloud computing.

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CTN does not use any SolarWinds or FireEye products. As you’ve likely seen reported, SolarWinds discovered a supply chain attack compromising their Orion business software updates that distributed malware known as SUNBURST. The malware perm...

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